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Business Intelligence Analyst Career


What Is a Business Intelligence Analyst?


Business intelligence analysts—or BI analysts—use a variety of tools and methodologies to parse big data and evaluate patterns of data useful to a given company. Since around the late 1990s, the term “business intelligence” has come to identify a standardized way to improve business decision-making through data. With the consistent growth of global commerce and digital technology, more and more data analysts are opting to specialize in business intelligence (BI).

BI analysts work with both internal data—that which is created within a business—and external data—that which is collected from the industry in which the business operates. By evaluating both types of data, BI analysts can gain a comprehensive glimpse of data patterns to form more effective business strategies. A broad objective of BI analysts is to help maximize profits and increase the overall efficiency of a company or enterprise.


What Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Do?

An organization’s body of business intelligence may involve any data that could further business goals, optimize business processes, or improve a business’s position in the market. BI analysts focus on identifying those pieces of data and finding ways to capitalize on them. Many business intelligence analysts work with other types of data analysts and data scientists for the benefit of a business, its partners, and its customers.

Business intelligence analysts typically use dedicated technology like software programs for:

  • Data reporting and analysis
  • Data mining
  • Business performance management
  • Predictive analytics
  • Machine learning

Most daily responsibilities of BI analysts usually include the following:

  • Gathering, processing, and storing data sets
  • Knowledge management—optimizing the way knowledge is shared in an organization
  • Measuring business metrics
  • Creating business performance reports
  • Using software for data visualization
  • Collating structured and unstructured data


How Do I Become a Business Intelligence Analyst?

Preparing to become a business intelligence analyst means gaining the right education and learning the right skills for the job. Consider these steps:

  • Pursue higher education. Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, business management, or statistics is usually required for a BI analysis career. Obtaining a master’s degree in one of these subjects could increase your earning potential.
  • Gain experience. Look for an entry- or intermediate-level job in data analytics or an adjacent field. This can help you understand which skills you’ll need to develop.
  • Get certified. Industry certifications can grant you deeper knowledge and set you apart from the competition. WGU offers CompTIA, Udacity, and AWS certification as part of its B.S. in Data Analytics program.
  • Learn beyond the basics. For example, you might participate in an online business intelligence workshop or attend a BI conference.

Best Degrees for a Business Intelligence Analyst


Computer Science – B.S.

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:...

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:

Lay the groundwork for the computing breakthroughs that will enable tomorrow's technologies. Utilize your previous college courses or IT experience to help you complete your degree faster.

  • Time: 60% of graduates in similar programs finish within 25 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 38 total courses in this program.

You'll have the opportunity to earn these certifications:

  • Linux Essentials
  • Axelos ITIL Foundation

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Architecture and systems
  • Data structures
  • AI
  • Computer theory
  • Version Control
  • Linux

Information Technology – B.S.

Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this online...

Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this online program a top choice.

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 39 months.
  • Tuition: $3,625 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 total courses in this program.

Certifications included in this program at no additional cost:

  • CompTIA A+ 
  • CompTIA Network+ 
  • CompTIA Security+ 
  • CompTIA Project+ 
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist 
  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • ITIL®*^ Foundation Certification
  • LPI Linux Essentials

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Scripting and programming
  • Networking and security
  • Systems and services
  • Data management
  • Business of IT

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 19 months
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 40 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé this program will teach you include: 

  • Business communication
  • Product development
  • Decision making models
  • Project management strategies
  • Budgeting for business

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.


How Much Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Make?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary in May 2022 for management analysts was $95,290. The lowest 10% of management analysts earned less than $55,590 while the highest 10% earned more than $167,650.

The BLS also states that the average annual salary of operations research analysts during the same time was $85,720. The lowest 10% earned less than $50,440 while the highest 10% earned more than $149,640.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Business Intelligence Analyst?


The BLS states that employment of management analysts is projected to grow by 10% from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Around 92,900 openings for management analysts are projected each year on average over the decade.

Additionally, employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow by 23% over the same period of time, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. About 9,800 openings for operations research analysts are projected each year on average from 2022 to 2032.

These trends are similar for business intelligence analysts.


What Skills Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Need?

Business intelligence analysis requires an eye for detail, a love of numbers, and several other skills like:

  • Knowledge of statistical concepts
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Competency with dedicated analysis software and spreadsheets
  • Organizational skills
  • Critical thinking

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Business Intelligence Analyst?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.